Hyliion acquiring hydrogen and fuel-agnostic generator technology

By Becky Schultz30 August 2022

Technology acquired from GE Additive to be integrated into Hyliion Hypertruck powertrain

Hyliion KARNO generator Hyliion Holdings Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the KARNO hydrogen and fuel agnostic-capable generator from GE Additive. (Photo: Hyliion)

Hyliion Holdings Corp. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the KARNO hydrogen and fuel agnostic-capable generator from GE Additive, part of General Electric (GE), for an acquisition value of approximately $37 million. Hyliion will acquire the generator technology and integrate the Cincinnati-based engineering team that created the KARNO system into its operations.

Hyliion plans to use the KARNO generator technology in its Hypertruck platform, an electric powertrain recharged by an onboard generator for Class 8 commercial trucks. In late 2023, the company intends to release the Hypertruck ERX powertrain leveraging an onboard natural gas engine as the generator. In the years following, it will release the Hypertruck KARNO, a fuel-agnostic variant, as well as explore other adjacent markets to leverage this technology for cost savings and emissions reductions.

“Solving climate change, whether through adopting electric vehicles or reducing emissions from manufacturing sites, requires clean, efficient and dependable electricity. Hyliion will leverage the KARNO as the next-generation generator onboard the Hypertruck, creating a solution that will operate on various fuel sources that are available today, while remaining future-proofed to run on hydrogen when it becomes widely accessible,” said Thomas Healy, founder and CEO of Hyliion.

The KARNO generator technology emerged out of the GE Additive’s R&D investments in metal additive manufacturing across multiple industries and in areas such as generator thermal and performance design. The technology uses heat – produced by reacting fuels through flameless oxidation or other heat sources, including renewables – to drive a sealed linear generator to produce electricity.

According to the acquisition announcement, the KARNO power system will be capable of operating on over 20 different fuels including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, ammonia and conventional fuels. It is expected to achieve more than a 20% efficiency improvement over conventional generators, as well as reduce noise, vibration, moving parts and maintenance compared to current combustion engines.

Initial testing indicates the generator is expected to comply with all current and foreseeable emissions standards, specifically from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even when using conventional fuels.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of Q3 2022.

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